Woodstock Academy junior Marina Monrabal took home a label from the ECC girls’ championship track meet May 20.
Monrabal was anointed the fastest in the area this season when she won the 100-meter race at East Lyme High School.
“Pretty impressive,” said Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch.
Hardly. “It’s a brand new sport for her and I’ve watched her develop over the season,” Welch said.
Monrabal is a native of Spain and played basketball overseas before coming to Woodstock Academy this season.
She decided to give outdoor track a try.
Welch has learned one thing about his young runner: Don’t challenge her.
“It seems like the more the pressure gets turned up, the more she responds,” Welch said. “She is a really motivated athlete.”
To make his point, Welch said all one has to look at is what Monrabal did in the 100-meter qualifying heat and what she did in the final.
She dropped .3 seconds between the two.
Monrabal finished the 100-meter in 13.02 seconds.
But it was just barely good enough for her to bring home the first-place medallion.
Bacon Academy’s Cleondra White finished in 13.05 seconds and East Lyme’s Saige Deveau wasn’t too far away in 13.09.
“It was pretty close, they had to check the camera and it took a long time, but then said that I had won,” Monrabal said with a smile.
She didn’t think she had.
“I was at the finish line and I saw two girls pass me, and I thought I was like third place, but they went to those cameras and I was first,” she added.
It was not a Woodstock Academy school record.
Debbie Clark still owns that mark with a 12.2-second finish in the 100 about two decades ago.
But it was Monrabal’s personal best.
“I honestly don’t know why I did so well, maybe because the weather was warmer. I didn’t practice this weekend, either, so I was really fresh,” Monrabal said.
Monrabal also finished third in the 200-meter race.
But there was a caveat to that as well.
She did so out of the slow heat.
“You could see she just got caught up in the pack, kids were going to pass and she just turned on a second gear and drove past them. She doesn’t want to have somebody in front of her. She’s very motivated and that seems to drive her success,” Welch said.
The Woodstock Academy coach would have loved to see what his runner could have done had she run in the fast heat.
But it was just her second time competing in the event.
“I did pretty good, I’m pretty fast I guess,” Monrabal said. “I like the 100, the 200 kills me.”
Monrabal finished in 28.24 seconds behind Norwich Free Academy’s Allyson Lewis (25.75) and Stonington’s Gwen Andersen (27.01).
Welch is curious how Monrabal will do in the Class MM state championships this week even though she is not seeded particularly high. He thinks she is within a tenth of a second to get a medal in both events.
The Centaurs were missing a couple of key athletes for the meet and settled for 12th overall as a team.
Freshman Linsey Arends added a fourth-place finish in the mile.
The 4x800-meter relay team, which Arends was a member of, should have finished sixth but was disqualified due to a zone violation.
Boys’ Track
Only four members of the Woodstock Academy boys’ track team had qualified for this week’s Class MM state championship competition heading into the ECC championship at E. Lyme May 20.
Two more joined those ranks by the end of the day.
Dan Ntamwemizi was just 3 inches shy of qualifying in the shotput going into the ECC championship.
Ntamwemizi got himself into the MM field with a throw of 41-feet at East Lyme.
“He qualified for States,” said Woodstock Academy coach Peter Lusa. “It was something he had been working toward. We’re happy about that. He just made it.”
Nathan Craig also qualified for state competition when he cleared 39-feet, 3-inches in the triple jump which, unlike Ntamwemizi, netted him a spot in the States by a couple of inches.
“We have a few more guys. It’s going to be a good day,” Lusa said of the state competition.
Lucas Couture finished with a personal best 11-feet, 6-inch effort in the pole vault and came in third overall in the ECC in the event.
Sophomore Ethan Aspiras was sixth in the 3,200-meter race.
The Centaurs finished 13th overall as a team.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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